I believe that the Web comprises a living representation of human nature and desire. Our hopes, dreams, wants, needs, joys and hates. Our need to connect with one another. The Web, simply put, is made of people, and the hyperlink is a representation of that.
I realize this makes me sound like some kind of hopeless hippie stuck in 1998, but the proof is all around us.
Jeff Jarvis puts it like this:
Local is people. Our job is not to deliver content or a product. Our job is to help them make connections with information and each other.
I could have just as easily quoted Howard Rheingold from the mid-nineties.
Real successes on the Web have shown an understanding of this, whether you call these sites, services and communities Web 1.0, Web 2.0 or whatever – it doesn’t change – and it won’t change – unless something significant happens to the underlining architecture we all participate on.
So when I read the next three pieces that Mathew Ingram says (when you take into account Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere) reflect a trifecta of failure we can all learn from, it simply reinforced that belief for me.
Center for Citizen Media: Dan Gillmor: Citizen Media: A Progress Report (where are matters now? where are they headed in the future?)
Mark Potts: Backfence: Lessons Learned (great reflections from a Backfence founder)
Wired: Jeff Howe: Did Assignment Zero Fail? A Look Back, and Lessons Learned (certainly not a failure – there is a lot here to be learned from – and what was produced – and continuing to be produced – is to be proud of)
PressThink: Guest Writer Liz George of Baristanet Reviews Backfence.com Seven Months After Launch (she nailed it didn’t she?)
Even more previously:
In my opinion, “Small Pieces Loosely Joined” is still the most important book to read about the Web. It will make you realize that on the Web – participatory media happens. All the ideas, features, and concepts we thread through it, we try and trumpet, won’t change it. We can either recognize it – work with it – realize it’s a wondrous, powerful thing – or try and re-invent it or usurp it. The later leads, eventually, to failure. As the record shows.
(note – I was an advisor to NewAssignment.net – so you can take what I say with a grain of salt. however, all you need to do is dive in and you’ll see some impressive, thought provoking work has been put together by everyone involved)